Sunday, February 16, 2014

Back to Nature.

So for the last couple of years, we have been doing school and I have left our nature studies and walks behind.  I thought that including these nature studies was a great thing to do when the kids were little, and as they got older it was a definite time waster.  What I didn't realize was that by getting rid of our nature time for the older kids, I was getting rid of nature time for my younger kids, too.  They were missing out on all the kinds of fun we used to have.

This got me feeling guilty, of course.  So I started reading my homeschool books again for the 100th time.  I needed inspiration!  Little by little I started to realize how much I missed our weekly walks.  I missed our bird studies.  I missed our gardens.  I missed our nature journals.  The list when on and on.  Then I ran across a quiz I took years ago when I was just starting my homeschool journey.  It was in my copy of Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.  It was in that book that I saw all my scribbles and notes from so long ago.  I also realized why I had done all those nature walks...it was because I had scored so high in not only classical studies, but also Charlotte Mason.  It was because of that quiz, that our early years in homeschool were so memorable, relaxed, and fun.  Had I changed that much since I first started?

This got me curious and I decided to retake the quiz.  My score was practically the same!  So then I came across this quiz, Which Homeschooling Approach is Right For You?, and I scored with Charlotte Mason again!  OK...so I think you know where I'm going with this!  So I am definitely fulfilling my teaching style of classical education, but I have been ignoring my love for nature.  What does that mean now that we are mid-year?  Well, I guess we have a lot of rethinking to do for the new year!  But I also immediately started doing weekly nature walks again, brought back our practice of having a nature table, and busted out the nature journals!  We are all so much happier now.  My older kids are so glad that we are doing this again.  "Why did we ever stop, Mom?"

I guess my point here is that it's never too late to go back to doing the things you love and instilling those things on your children.  Homeschooling is truly a journey and sometimes we take wrong turns (or detours).  Luckily, we can make our own path.  

I totally encourage every homeschooler to keep evaluating and assessing their methods.  If they aren't working or are making everyone miserable, then it's OK to change.


With the snow we got this week, we decided to take our nature walk in our own backyard woods.





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